Let me cut to the chase: It costs 40 bucks to have your name put up on the Metrodome scoreboard for your birthday. But if you write an extraordinarily self-promoting letter that doubles up as a request for fireworks in your honor and address it to the Minnesota Twins (a fine, small-market organization they are!), you, like me, just might find in your mailbox a 4"x6" picture of the scoreboard reading, "Happy Birthday, (insert your name), #1 Fan!" And the "#1 Fan" bit isn't normal procedure.
That was last year, and, when I was actually at the game the night of my birthday, there was nothing on the scoreboard, no free hotdog, no autographed baseball, no fireworks. Instead, I was accosted by the Twins mascot, Mr. Suited Up MN Twins Bear, who shamed me for wearing an Anaheim Mighty Ducks jacket because the Ducks at the time were in the playoffs with the Minnesota Wild. Little did the presumptuous bear know that I'd had my jacket about as long as the Ducks had existed. To compound matters, an usher decided to have some words with me regarding my attire, figuring he'd speak for the mute mascot.
Today a former co-worker e-mailed me, asking how I got my name up on the scoreboard and explained she wanted to do the same for a nephew whose birthday is coming up. I said I wrote a letter, and I got the picture two months later. I didn't mention that a little detective work had proven my name was featured on the scoreboard at some later date, based on the score on the board for that game. But I suggested she contact the PR office with her request. And that's how I found out about the 40 dollar charge. Boy am I enjoying last year's birthday now!